A design by artist Fiona Moes Pel for a set of colourful banners has been selected to hang along 207 Street. Langley City council chose the banners, along with a way finding sculpture, for display at City Park.

A design by artist Fiona Moes Pel for a set of colourful banners has been selected to hang along 207 Street. Langley City council chose the banners, along with a way finding sculpture, for display at City Park.

Decorative banners, way finding sculpture selected for City Park

Council approves pair of public art submissions to decorate park area and offer direction to visitors

  • May. 14, 2015 10:00 a.m.

One public art project breezed through the approval process at Langley City council on Monday night while for another, the process was a bit more of a squeaker.

In January 2014, the City of Langley put out a call to artists for five public art projects, including a request for designs for street banners to hang in City Park, as well as artistic signage to direct visitors to Langley Community Music School, Al Anderson Memorial Pool and the park’s sports fields and other amenities.

On Monday, a recommendation was brought forward from the City’s Recreation, Culture and Public Art Advisory Committee (RCPAC) to commission a series of banners by artist Fiona Moes Pel as well as a way finding “Info Tree” sculpture, designed by Paul Lipper and Mary Ann Liu.

The sculpture’s design calls for metal limbs to branch out from the tree’s trunk and, at their tips, transform into silhouettes of people engaged in a range of sporting and cultural activities. Once the tree is installed, each branch will point in the direction where the specified activity takes place.

Three members of council found the tree’s design confusing and its price tag too high.

Councillor Gayle Martin said that while she appreciates public art and would like to see more of it in the community, that isn’t the goal of this particular project.

“This is not for public art, this is for way finding,” she said, noting that people driving by would not be able to make sense of the directions provided by the sculpture.

Councillor Val van den Broek echoed Martin’s sentiments.

“It’s not a way finding sign. That’s what we asked for. I want more public art, but it has to be appropriate.”

When the call for the way finding sign was issued, the budget was capped at $25,000. The Info Tree sculpture is expected to cost $22,000.

Councillor Dave Hall took exception to the price, saying that there are a number of parks within the City that lack adequate signage.

For $22,000, it makes more sense to scale back the project and provide signage for other parks, he said.

“I think we need to embrace art, whether or not we understand it,” said Councillor Paul Albrecht.

“I think it’s quite unique; I’ve never seen anything like it before,” added Mayor Ted Schaffer. “It’s cool looking.”

“It’s a good selection,” said Councillor Rudy Storteboom, who represents council on the RCPAC.

“I believe it would capture the imagination of the general public the way it captured the imagination of the committee.”

Council voted 4-3 to proceed with the signage.

Enthusiasm for Moes Pel’s banner designs, meanwhile, was more widespread.

Colourful drawings separate the sports and artistic elements into two banners, but link them through use of common colours and design elements.

The banners will hang along 207 Street between 48 and 51B Avenues at the edge of City Park.

The City will pay the artist $250 for each design.

“These are beautiful and at $500, we’re getting a deal,” said Hall.

“These are very attractive,” agreed Martin.

“I think this is wonderful. They’re colourful, vibrant, fantastic,” said van den Broek.

Among the banner submissions, was a stack of designs from a Grade 5 class at nearby Blacklock Elementary.

In addition to the larger banners, smaller banners, based on four of the school children’s designs have also been selected for display at Al Anderson pool.